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Benjamin Booker @ The Met | Concert Review

Benjamin Booker is no stranger to Exposure. (See here, here, here, here, and even here, e.g.) In fact, Exposure likes him so much, we decided to bring him to Pawtucket to play The Met.

The New Orleans singer/songwriter holds the distinct honor of being called “raw” by every music publication that’s written about him. This one will be no exception. Read below for 10 of the rawest moments from his show.

1. Last Good Tooth  

A band consisting of Rhode Islanders and New Yorkers, Last Good Tooth started the night off in an exceptionally folky way. The band’s frontman also brought plenty of personality with quips about the aforementioned New Yorker members of the band and the political background of their songs.

2. Soulful Screams 

Rolling Stone doesn’t give the award of “Best Scream of Bonnaroo” to just anyone. That’s why they gave it to Benjamin Booker, who seriously proved his screaming chops Friday night. He screamed during guitar riffs and in moments of serious passion, and the whole crowd felt it.

3. Insanely hip crowd

You can trust the Met to bring out the serious music lovers and local musicians of Providence. Friday night, without fail, an amazing and eclectic community of concert goers showed up to appreciate Booker. Many sported beards, and had it been a little colder out, I’m sure many would have sported flannel as well.

4. Distortion, pedals, and sustains 

Intricate riffs were stretched beyond recognition with the help of many pedals and effects. The three musicians on stage made a wall of sound, distorting everything they had at arms reach including drums, cymbals, violins, and of course, guitars.

5. The New Orleans spirit 

Benjamin Booker has some serious New Orleans pride. Further validation of this can be found in his Twitter handle, @BBookerNOLA, and his Instagram handle, @BenjaminBookerNOLA. As such, he lead the Met in a group sing along to a “Little Liza Jane,” a song he assured would give everyone “New Orleans cred.”

6. Leaving the stage to get more beer

At some point mid-set, Booker walked off stage leaving the audience to wonder if the show was over. He returned moments later with another beer in hand prompting cheers. We don’t blame him. All that soulful screaming is thirsty work.

7. Expert transitions 

Booker and his drummer were so in sync that they were able to transition from song to song without stopping for applause. Instead, Booker would change keys and the drummer would switch rhythms. Before you knew it, you were dancing to a new song.

8. Full body guitar solos 

Without question, Benjamin Booker is an amazing guitarist. He can nail intricate solos and massively distorted riffs, and occasionally at the same time. The pull in seeing him live, though, is watching him execute these moments with his entire body. He jerks the guitar around him, leans forward into the music, and feels the rhythm in moving his feet.

9. Violent Shiver 

Audience members erupted with Booker played the opening riff, and we get why.

10. The final jam 

The show closed with a massive jam session. Booker’s back was towards the audience as he, the drummer, and violinist maintained eye contact and followed each others cues. This jam was a lot of holding and distorting one note at a time, but the sound could be felt from the floor to the bathroom stalls.

There was lots of great music this weekend! Read about Local H at the Met here.

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